Ian Madigan

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Ireland’s Jonathan Sexton after picking up an injury during the Six Nations match against Italy at the Aviva stadium last year. Photograph: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile/Corbis via Getty Images

The art of manipulation is a sight to behold. On January 25th irishtimes.com, reporting from the choreographed Six Nations launch, announced: “Johnny (...)

Simon Easterby has defended the decision to overlook Ian Madigan with Johnny Sexton out injured. Photograph: Inpho/Dan Sheridan

So much for a low injury profile. Already without Jared Payne and Sean Cronin, Ireland have now lost Johnny Sexton (strained calf) and Peter O’Mahony (...)

Ian Madigan: his move to  Bordeaux-Begles has effectively removed him fromthe Ireland  frame. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

The decision to call up Ian Keatley to act as cover at outhalf along with his Munster team-mate Rory Scannell in light of Johnny Sexton’s withdrawal,(...)

Ireland Head Coach Joe Schmidt and Captain Rory Best pose with the RBS Six Nations Trophy during the Six Nations Media Launch in London. Photo: Paul Childs/Reuters

Joe Schmidt has declared that Johnny Sexton should be able to return to full training next week and thus be available to play in Ireland’s difficult o(...)

Adam Byrne’s arrival from a lovely hidden position off the blind wing against Castres was all but unreadable. His acceleration allowed him ghost through the gap. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

That Adam Byrne was overlooked for the extended Ireland squad shows the depth of wing options Joe Schmidt has entering the Six Nations. Adam’s time(...)

 Johnny Sexton in action against Castres  in the European  Champions Cup. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

The presence of Paddy Jackson as the only back-up at outhalf to Johnny Sexton is a strong indication that Sexton will be fit to assume the number 10 (...)

Ian Madigan’s Bordeaux Bégles team play Clermont Auvergne this Sunday so even if he had been selected by Joe Schmidt he would be unable to join the Irish camp in Carton House. Photograph: Inpho

Besides outhalf, Joe Schmidt’s heavily stocked Ireland squad is at least three deep in every position. The reasoning is clear enough. Johnny Sexton(...)

Ulster’s Andrew Trimble tackles Nans Ducuing of Bordeaux-Begles. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Ulster 22 Bordeaux 26 The crisis at Ulster shows no signs of abating after they meekly bowed out of the European Champions Cup in defeat in the Poo(...)

Kieran Treadwell must back up Ulster coach  Les Kiss’s big selection call at secondrow. Photograph: Inpho

Sunday - Exeter Chiefs v Ulster, Sandy Park, 5.30pm – BT Sport Ironically Ulster’s uncomfortable last campaign with Ruan Pienaar on their books rea(...)

Munster’s Simon Zebo with Peter Murchie of Glasgow Warriors:  sides meet in  crunch  match  in Scotstoun on Saturday. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Irish prospects entering the penultimate round of pool matches in the European Champions Cup are altogether rosier than they were at this juncture las(...)

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